First let me say that Capitalism has been an incredible economic system for the United States, and really the heart and soul of all social classes in the United States, especially the middle class. In fact, Capitalism has been such a hit that other countries want to join the party and as a side effect the are now growing vast middle class populations. The success of the Western society’s Capitalistic model is the reason why both Russia and China morphed into a version of Capitalism with respect to their economics and politics.
So why am I saying that Automated Robotic Systems could cause the Death of Capitalism?
Because we have never had such an intelligent blend of artificial intelligence and mechanical systems! My primary job isn’t even in the automation field, but I’ve been able to create automated systems that could reduce labor hours down from 40 or more hours into a mere 30 seconds or less. Noting that my 30 seconds number is being very conservative and it should really take less than 10 seconds. I’m not mentioning that I could have totally automated the system so it could happened without human intervention at all!
So again, “What does this have to do with the death of Capitalism?”
Well, we have intelligent (and usually centralized interconnected AI based) robotics systems doing a large part of it autonomously or very close to that point. By this I mean that they don’t really need to be turned off because the AI (or some type of intelligence programming) can made decisions based on sensory, or timed data and literally just perform tasks when needed. What is scary from a human perspective is that these systems don’t sleep, work literally 24 x 7, don’t eat, drink or any other human function. They don’t mind if the work environment is too cold or hot, or too light or dark… These systems are for the most part environmentally agnostic and will just plug and chug along until the break! The only thing they really need on a continuous basis is power and periodically some small maintenance which if done correctly means no downtime ever the process that it’s performing (business or otherwise).
To kill Capitalism, in the short and near team, it’ll take diverse and sometimes specialized automated robotic systems. Such technological systems will harvest the energy, control the movement of the energy and even replace robotics systems that may be having issues (even before they do have issues using baseline performance data and predictive analysis based on mean time to failure for parts and the like).
You see, the thing is that robotic systems will continue to develop and for a lack of a better word, evolve into a complete economic model that potentially could completely negate the need for money.
If “smart” robots make the product (organic or inorganic), mine or make energy, and have robots that can maintain other robots, then is there really no need for money (or as much human labor), and if there is no need for money, then isn’t Capitalism dead? Because money is the blood that flows through the heart of Capitalism.
If Capitalism isn’t completely dead, at least we might have a hybrid economic model where so much is free and just a few unnecessary specific items cost money.
Let’s say that one day the government (or somebody like Buffet or Gates) decided to buy property and the put in robotic gardening system that is wind, solar, or battery based to grow food, do up to the minute, day and night weeding and pest control, pick food and then finally transport food to the end target. With mainly the upfront cost, we could have a perpetual system that is a completely free food supply process. You could view it as a complete AI robotic ecosystem.
In the near term, we can definitely imagine some type of free electric (via solar, wind and/or battery) automated public transportation system that has no human involvement and takes people on a predefined route or even individualized routes. These might even include some kind of security or robotic system to protect all riders of such a transportation system.
Lately my mind has been really spinning on the possibilities. If you include virtual reality which enables the ability to visit other places and even do activities without even leaving home, then having money might not be all that important to most people in the near future.
This is why I believe the Capitalism might lose some of it’s luster in the next few decades. I’ll be honest, it saddens me a little because I wasn’t born yesterday. Because the children of the future might get most of the benefits of a truly “free” society that runs on intelligent robotic labor and systems.
Time will tell…